Cesarean sections are not a common occurrence in an average veterinary practice, especially emergency ones. I'll average one every year or two. Some breeds such as English bulldogs give birth through planned c-sections, but even those aren't common. This is why I was surprised today with a second emergency c-section.
This dog was a Maltese who started active labor around 10:15 and had part of the amniotic sac coming out of her. The owner called us about three hours later, worried because no puppies had come out yet. We told her to come in immediately, and once she arrive I was able to quickly see the intact sac protruding from her vagina. She was dilated enough that I could gently put my finger up her birth canal and feel a puppy likely in breech position. It only took an instant to tell that she need to get to surgery right away.
Within a couple of hours we had six new puppies and a recovering mother. These pups were harder to recover and it was touch-and-go for a while. But we did manage to save all six, including the one I found in breech. The surgery itself was a bit easier than the one last week because this was a much smaller dog. And like last time, mom and puppies left to head home and heal.
It's pretty strange to have two emergency c-sections in five days. Thankfully, everyone is doing well so far, and it looks like they will make complete recoveries. One of the biggest lessons to learn here is to HAVE YOUR DOGS SPAYED AND NEUTERED! With "fixed" dogs, neither client would have had to spend the money or have their pets at risk.